The Global Carbon Cycle


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The Global Carbon Cycle Tom Bibby September 2003 bibby imcs rutgers edu falko imcs rutgers edu The Carbon Cycle Look at past climatic change as controlled by the carbon cycle Interpret the influence of human changes Anthropogenic Perturbations Economic and Trade Policies Venus Earth States of water in the solar system The Faint Young Sun Paradox The greenhouse effect This false color Terra satellite image of Earth shows infrared heat escaping to space Greenhouse gases trap such heat and warm our planet Relative percentage composition of greenhouse gases in the Earth s atmosphere Distribution of carbon reservoirs on Earth Pools Atmosphere Quantity gt 720 Oceans 38 400 Total inorganic 37 400 Surface Layer Deep layer Total Organic 670 36 730 1 000 Lithosphere Sedimentary carbonates Kerogens Terrestrial biosphere total Living Biomass Dead Biomass Aquatic biosphere 60 000 000 15 000 000 2 000 600 1 000 1 200 1 2 Fossil fuels 4 130 Coal 3 510 Oil 230 Gas 140 Other peat 250 Falkowski et al 2002 Science Vol 290 291 296 Values of carbon exchange between reservoirs Carbon Degassing M rner and Etiope Global and Planetary Change 33 2002 185 203 Methane Hydrates Cross section through the Earth The Ring of Fire Chemical weathering Export of CO2 From the atmosphere The hydrological cycle Chemical Weathering Calcite Carbonate compensation depth CCD The depth in the ocean below which material composed of calcium carbonate is dissolved and does not accumulate on the sea floor Factors effecting the rate of chemical weathering Temperature Rate of chemical reactions Precipitation Amount of H2O Vegetation Efficiency of delivery of CO2 to the soil Atmospheric CO2 Levels Myrs ago Falkowski and Raven 1997 Faint Young Sun Paradox Negative feedback controls Faint Young Sun paradox Controlled by the Carbon cycle Rate of Tectonic Movement The Earth s Orbit Long term changes in tilt Changes in the tilt of the Earth s axis have occurred on a regular 41 000 year cycle Long term changes in

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